Sometimes, you get surprises sent your way. Figures you never expected to have your hands on because they were rare, or figures you never expected to have your hands on because ... well, you didn't know much about them. And that's the case with Maitan's Mami Lolita ver., featuring the title character from Mahou no Tenshi Kurimi Mami ... which I knew nothing about.
Not only did I find myself learning about a series I'd never heard of that had something of an effect on the anime industry, but I found myself with a real nice figure, from a company I was very unfamiliar with, but what turned out to be a special one as well. Needless to say, it was quite an adventure, but is Mami a worthwhile addition to your collection?
Figure Name: Creamy Mami Lolita ver. (Wonder Festival 2010 Summer exclusive)
So where to start with? The box seems like a good place. Too bad it's pretty bland; a big square window in the front, little heart windows on the side and nothing on the back. There's a printed pink pattern as well, but nothing really, really sticks out from the box. Maybe what's inside is better?
So here's Mami. If she looks a little old-school ... well, she's from a series that started in 1983. Mahou no Tenshi Kurimi Mami (Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel) is the story of Yu Morisawa, a 10-year-old girl who helps out an alien find the Feather Star and gets rewarded with a magic wand that transformers her into a 16-year-old girl. The magic of her wand also gives her other powers, like the ability to sing really well, and through a series of events, she ends up becoming a popular idol named Creamy Mami ... who also has to use her magical girl powers to fight against some rather shady characters. In particular, the series is known for helping push the idea of using lesser-known idols in anime as a way to promote them as a new talent (in this case, Takako Ohta), as well as set the format that Studio Pierrot used for all their future magical girl anime series.
Lesson in history aside, let's focus on the figure. As you can see, she's got a relatively simple pose in a rather pink lolita dress. It doesn't really grab me as too exciting, especially when compared to some of the other figures around her 1/8-scale size and price point. On top of that, she's actually a WonFes 2010 Summer exclusive, with the regular Mami's only difference being her dress was black instead of pink. So if pink's your thing ... hey, here you go!
The base is a plain black plastic base, with two little holes for the pegs of her feet. In and of itself, it's nothing really too noteworthy or eye-catching. However, if you look close, you can see scratches in the base and paint marks as well from the bottom of her shoes. Yes, this base does scuff very, very easily.
Here, you can check out her boots and thigh-high stockings, in their pink and white-detailed look. There's not a whole lot of definition on her legs, though the sculpt itself isn't too bad. No real issues with paint lines either, and the designs on the boots and stockings don't show any signs of smearing or otherwise rubbing off.
Her super-frilly dress is actually made up of four parts (the pink top layer and three separate underlayers in white), each stacked one on top of the other. Again, the detail's not bad on the folds here, but it's also nothing too exciting, either.
The upper part of Mami's outfit is definitely very lolita-esque. Lots of frills on the part around her shoulders, along with bows and some fancy striping. The bow looks a little, well, rigid, and the actual middle part of the dress where the girdle portion is lacks detail. It's a bit disheartening to see that because it does take away from the figure's overall presentation a bit.
As part of her outfit, she's got on these little foofy sleeves which look cute, have a nice little bit of detail and don't have any paint issues. Her hands feature individually sculpted fingers, and they're posed quite naturally as well.
She's also got her magic want in her hand, too. It slides in nice and neatly, but the white paint is a little sloppy on it in parts. You can check out the gallery for a close-up shot of the want, but it's the one part that really could have been executed a bit better.
Mami's face is pretty normal; she's got those big, 1980s-style anime eyes, of course, and her mouth's slightly open in a smile. You can see that her bangs are also well sculpted, and her hairband hides the usual seam you find running around the head in many other figures pretty well. However, the paint on her mouth looks just a tiny bit off; there's a little bit of bleed between the lips and teeth, but nothing too noticeable.
Her hair's sculpted well in the back, too, though the ends could be a little more separate and a little less lumped together. The only problem is that you can see some of the paint is missing or has rubbed off in two little spots on either side of her head. I'm not sure if that's a flaw from the factory or from the box, but it's noticeable.
And these are the two little ones who come with her! Their names are Nega (left) and Posi (right) and yes, that kind of describes their attitudes: Nega is supposed to be a brash little fellow and Posi is very supportive. They're the two cats from the Feather Star sent to watch over Yu/Mami while she has her magical powers. And really, they're adorable, well sculpted and well-painted for such little figures! They don't have any special place to be on the stand (Nega sits up on his tail and Posi on her four little legs), so they do tip over a bit easy.
Butt shot, yes, because you seem to like these. As you can see, not a lot of detail. Boring plain white, folks. But you probably won't leave her like this, even if you can take her skirt off ...
Can you guess why? If you said because the dress parts fit into a slot that is very obvious to see when she's skirtless, you're right!
So that leaves my final assessment, does it not? Well, it's a decent figure and what details it has are nice ... but the whole thing just isn't completely my cup of tea. There's nothing that really jumps out from Mami that says, "Gotta have her!" Even as a WonFes event exclusive, I can say she's pretty and if you like her you should be pleased, but she won't be for every collector out there.
[Thanks to HobbyLink Japan for the review sample!]
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